5 Mar 2019
Since the dawn of commercial air travel, Singapore has been the centre of aviation in Southeast Asia. But is the island state now being challenged for its crown by the emerging MRO markets of Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam? Michael Doran looks at the competition.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF MRO IN EMERGING MARKETS is not about taking business away from the established hub of Singapore. It is about how developing markets, such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia capture the torrent of increased MRO activity that fleet growth is bringing to the Asia-Pacific region.
The MRO markets in these three nations are growing, with multiple new investments and many positive announcements from both governments and MRO operators eager to grab a bigger slice of the pie.
However, what Singapore has spent decades building up will not be easily disrupted or even copied by new MRO operations, be they airlines going in-house, by OEMs, or the arrival of external operators from outside the region.
So, what has Singapore got that makes it so attractive that more than 130 aerospace companies employing over 20,000 employees are operating there?
“It ’s simple, they have everything there,” said Tom De Geytere, managing director Singapore and chief sales officer for AJW Group.
AJW selected Singapore as the place for their first Asian location and how they went about it shows why the city is such a favoured place for aerospace.
“Selecting the location was always going to be based around a combination of factors. The first one is relevance for the industry; you want to be in a place where your industry has a certain footprint and Singapore has roughly 10 percent of the global MRO market,” said De Geytere.
“Singapore is one of the major aviation markets in the world, they have a large national carrier, they are a major aviation hub system with a well-developed aviation environment. It is an industry relevant place and there are only so many of them in the world.
De Geytere added that a lot of decision makers pass through Singapore because they have branches in the region and pointed to the Singapore Air Show and MRO conference that take place, which means “all the aviation elements are here”.
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